Category Archives: Feeling a Draft

Feeling a Draft: Some stuff

It’s never too early, is it? I spoke with NFLDraftScout.com‘s Rob Rang for a story I’m writing for Tuesday and, because I’m a draft nut, I had to pick his brain about some other stuff.

For instance:

- The top offensive prospect in the Big 12 is Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree with Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin close behind. Rang called Crabtree “a freak, like Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. His hands are amazing.”

- The top defensive prospect is either Missouri’s William Moore or Texas’ Brian Orakpo, although he has gripes with both. Moore has been injured and while he has potential, Rang said he’s almost too aggressive and doesn’t break down well in space. As for Orakpo, he says the hype has elevated the defensive end’s stock. “He’s not Jevon Kearse, and he’s not a top 5 guy,” Rang said. “But he’s a legit top 15. But there are some warts.”

And finally, because this is the reason you’ve read this far – Josh Freeman.

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First round for Jordy?

Caution: agent-speak ahead.

Vann McElroy represents Kansas State wide receiver Jordy Nelson. It’s in McElroy’s best interests to talk up his client, but you also can’t get carried away and mislead your client. Which is why I’m convinced McElroy truly believes what he told me this morning, which is that he thinks Nelson might be nabbed in Round 1 of Saturday’s NFL Draft.

“This kid could slip into the bottom of the first – he’s risen that much,” McElroy said.

The reasoning, McElroy explained, is that Nelson compares athletically with the rest of the wide receivers available, not to mention his production. And there’s the issue of character, which isn’t an issue at all with Nelson.

“He’s No. 1 on the board in terms of character,” he said. “It’s a big deal… The commissioner went to league meetings this past spring and looked at the owners and said, ‘I can’t do this by myself… Make a statement and don’t sign these guys (with bad character). It helps him move ahead.”

Right now, McElroy is confident Nelson is a solid second-round selection. He has spoken with two teams that currently have him in their top five at wide receiver.

“I think Washington would take him at 51,” McElroy said.

I GOT FIVE ON IT – Rob Rang

One day, I’ll get to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. For now, I’ll have to settle for the following dispatch from  NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang, a certified F.O.K-S.(Friend of K-Stated). He’s there for the festivities, and he took some time from a riveting day of non-action to answer this week’s “Five,” which includes what he’s heard about Kansas State invitees Tim Reyer, Justin McKinney and Jordy Nelson.

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Feeling a Draft (02/18)

If you’re an NFL Draft junkie like I am, you need to get a subscription to nfldraftscout.com ASAP. It’s so worth the $25 a year, if only for this and the next two months alone.

Here’s what I know – Jordy Nelson, punter Tim Reyer and cornerback Justin McKinney are the only Kansas State football invited to next week’s NFL Combine. McKinney apparently turned heads with his catch-up speed at the Hula Bowl.

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Feeling a Draft: B-Ez and Bill

Pardon the late delivery, but here is the promised Q-and-A with Aran Smith of NBADraft.net, which can be found here. If you’re a draft nut like I am, there aren’t many things better than this site. And, like most of you, if you’re a Kansas State fan, you’ll love where Smith has Michael Beasley and Bill Walker on his most recently updated mock draft.

But check it out for yourself – after reading below, of course:

1. You have Michael Beasley listed as the top pick in your 2008 mock
draft. Easy decision?

Yes. As long as Beasley stays out of
trouble between now and draft day, I can’t see anyone overtaking him. Right
now I would separate Beasley, (Memphis’ Derrick) Rose and (Indiana’s Eric) Gordon from the rest of the pack.
(Texas A&M’s DeAndre) Jordan also has a ton of upside, but he’s really raw.

2.
Is he the best freshman in the country? If so, is he the best player in the country?

Yes and maybe. The stats don’t even tell the whole story. Beasley has  carried this team on his back and they have lost a few games
despite great games on his part. He’s a man amongst boys out there,
even though he’s usually a few years younger than his opponents. He
may struggle to win Player of the Year the way Durant did just because he’s playing
at Kansas State and doesn’t have as much talent around him,
particularly at point guard. Here’s to the 19-year age rule!

3.
What is the feedback regarding Mike you’re hearing from NBA scouts,
etc.? What do they like? Dislike?

They like his versatility,
athleticism, overall talent and potential. They don’t like the problem
child reputation that he had in high school. But he seems to have matured and
become more focused.

4. What about Bill Walker? Is his
stock rising again? I see he’s suddenly a first-rounder  again in your
mock.

Yes. It seems like it has taken him a few games to play himself
fully back into shape. He still isn’t as explosive as he was in high
school. But he seems to be getting that back. Against Cal, he had his
best performance yet and showed that he has pro moves and the hunger
to dominate. he is definitely on the rise again and stands a good
chance of getting into the first round if he keeps playing at this
level.

5. Should the presence of these two NBA-caliber talents carry Kansas State into the NCAA tournament?
They
definitely should be a tournament team. Beasley guaranteed wins against
Kansas,  which
might be far-fetched but you like to see
the confidence.

(BONUS). 6. Who do these two remind you
of? Anyone past or present in the NBA?

I hear a lot of people
say Derrick Coleman for Beasley, but to me he’s like Carmelo Anthony. Coleman
was supremely talented but never had the killer instinct that Beasley’s
showing. Anthony has such a nose for scoring and bulls people just like
Beasley. Walker was the most athletic guy I’d ever seen in high school. He
jumped higher than Vince (Carter). He’s not back to that level yet so maybe a thicker
Gerald Wilkins.

Feeling a Draft: The full Nelson

Not trying to pimp someone else’s site or drive beloved K-Stated traffic elsewhere, but I’m a huge fan of the folks at NFLDraftScout.com. I like what they do, which is basically follow and dissect not only the prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft but also the players in the coming years. It’s not just their opinions — they consult numerous NFL front-office types to form their theories.

Warning — it’s comprehensive, you will waste a substantial amount of time there, and you’ll have to pay for premium. But it’s worth it, trust me.

I spoke Tuesday with senior analyst Rob Rang about Jordy Nelson, who had the kind of senior season an NFL hopeful only dreams of.

Technically, this could have been a “Five,” but I’m not going to skimp on y’all this week. Not quite a bonus "Five," but it’s something. Enjoy.

Where do you have Jordy?
I still think he’s a second-day guy, a third- or fourth-round guy. For Jordy, it’s going to be how he runs and performs in the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game. His production this year was staggering. His playing speed on film was also impressive. I saw the Kansas game in particular, and how he beat Aqib Talib was impressive… When NFL teams went through (colleges) in the spring, I think he was still injured and he was timed in about the 4.6, 4.5 range. But I don’t think that’s indicative of his speed. I think he’s faster. It doesn’t hurt to have Brandon Marshall in Denver having a big year. He’s a former defensive back that made the transition as well at Central Florida. Because of that, teams are looking at these type of guys and saying, ‘Hey, let’s see what he can do.’ The fact that Marshall has had such a breakout year, they’ll be excited. Especially because (Jordy) is a great kid. And the special teams? Icing on the cake. He’s not your typical receiver in that way. The position is known for the prima donna type, but he has the defensive back mentality teams are looking for.

After all that, you still consider him a second-day guy?
At this point, yes. At the Senior Bowl or the East-West game, he has to light it up there. Then, he has a chance to move himself up. The third round wouldn’t be a shock. The second round would be great.

Is that the best course of action for Jordy?
In theory, he should work out at the Combine. There are going to be a lot of questions of whether this kid is legit… Because he had a breakout senior year, a lot of guys (in his position) choose to ride the momentum.

Does he compare to Marshall? I’ve heard some lazier comparisons…
That’s the thing. Based on what I saw, he flashes things like (Marshall). Yeah, I’ve heard that stereotype of every white receiver… It is lazy. They’re going off of the spring reports, when he ran a 4.6, 4.5. That’s why it’s so important he runs well. There are so few white receivers who have shown they can run well. Maybe people will find out Talib isn’t as fast as they thought. A lot of people will point to that — a game against a high-profile defender. Talib is on everybody’s All-American teams, and look at what Jordy did to him… It’s vital (Jordy) runs well.

How much ground can he make up?
If he can run like I think he can, I think a first-day grade, it’s possible. I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying that until he does it, until he goes to one of these all-star games and performs like I think he can… A two-round jump is pretty significant. He wasn’t even considerable a draftable commodity before the season. It’s been a pretty amazing transformation in one year.

There you have it. Check back tomorrow when I converse with Aran Smith
at NBAdraft.net about Mike Beasley and Bill Walker. Peace.